Soothing Strokes - A Reflex Level Activity

Soothing Strokes - A Reflex Level Activity

  • 10
  • 30
  • 60


  • Find Calm
  • Bring Joy

What you need

  1. A cloth bag
  2. A selection of squares of textured fabrics (at least 2 of each). For example silk, cord, faux fur, suede, velvet


Did you ever wear a fur coat or get dressed up for an evening out with a silk scarf? Maybe you had a suede or leather jacket? Perhaps you enjoy sewing and have worked with different fabrics. Touching fabrics can be a very comforting activity and can help people to respond to a single sensory experience without feeling overstimulated. The fabrics used in this activity may feel familiar and will be enjoyable to touch.

The Activity

  1. Before the activity make sure that the environment is quiet and uninterrupted.
  2. Use the person’s name to introduce the activity.
  3. Draw the person’s attention to the fabric and say ‘touch’ or ‘feel’.
  4. Choose one of the fabrics and take time to move it over the person’s hand/cheek.
  5. Ask the person if they like the feel of it. Say ‘doesn’t it feel lovely and soft/silky/ furry’.
  6. Try using another fabric and take time to stroke the person’s hand/cheek.
  7. If the person appears to react particularly positively to any of the fabrics, use that one again to move over their hand/cheek.

Written by Sophie Jopling and Sarah Mousley from Kent Occupational Therapy